Building Systems for Efficiency – Robert Arnold – Carrot Cashflow Episode 18


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Episode Summary

In recent years, there has been a steady increase of younger people interested in local food. And in this digital age, that same younger demographic is used to purchasing what they need online, straight from the comforts of their home. That said, why should purchasing nutritious, local food be any different?

In this episode of Carrot Cashflow, Robert Arnold of Pleasant Valley Farm talks about how they were able to take their farm business online after decades of solely relying on farmer’s markets. Robert talks about the process behind how they built the front and backend of their online business to run it more efficiently.

Today’s Guest: Robert Arnold

Robert Arnold is a second-generation farmer at Pleasant Valley Farms in Argyle, New York. After decades of selling at farmer’s markets, Pleasant Valley Farm has now transitioned to selling online thanks to his technological and systems expertise. Apart from constantly improving the efficiency of their operations, Robert also consults with other farms on how to build out their own systems that make running their businesses easier.

Relevant Links

           Pleasant Valley FarmWebsite | Pre-Order Store | Facebook

            Smart Farm Innovations

In this episode of Carrot Cashflow

  • Diego introduces the episode’s guest, Robert Arnold (00:36)
  • Robert Arnold and doing farmer’s markets growing up (01:19)
  • The trend of Pleasant Valley’s farmer’s market customers and setting up an online store (03:54)
  • An aging customer base and catering to a younger customer base (08:39)
  • Robert Arnolds thoughts on selling online and selling at market (10:25)
    • Long-term strategy to engage customers (12:07)
  • The challenges of setting up and running an online farm store (13:20)
  • Scheduling when the online store opens and closes and when to do deliveries (15:51)
    • Sending out reminders for chronically late customers (21:22)
    • Text reminders happened to be more effective than email reminders (23:53)
  • How Pleasant Valley Farm assembles and packs their orders (26:25)
  • Stowing orders according to the delivery route (32:39)
  • How long does it take to pack a week’s worth of orders? (37:46)
  • Building prices into the backend logistics (39:38)
    • Where the bulk of the work behind online orders lies (41:03)
  • The work that goes into running an online store and the work that goes into selling at a farmer’s market (43:58)
    • A technology manager and a key point person (47:01)
  • Combining resources, skills, and talents for a wider reach (48:10)
  • Revisiting how farm life is going after making the transition to selling online (50:29)
  • Robert Arnold and database management consulting (52:08)

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Check Out My Book: Ready Farmer One: The Farmers’ Guide to Create, Design, and Market an Online Farm Store (2022) by Diego Footer & Nina Galle

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Arielle Roxas

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